Electrician Talk banner

21 - 30 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
Your basic understanding is flawed. You need to know that there are at least three different kinds of "ground" and you have to discern which one is being referred to by context.

Types of "ground":

1) The literal planet Earth. This is an RF ground for antennas and lightning. The utility uses it as a circuit conductor sometimes. Probably shouldn't though.

2) The point in the circuit considered 0 volts. This is not a constant of nature. This "ground" might not even be connected to the planet. It is artificial and arbitrary. Consider the negative battery terminal in a vehicle. It is universally called "ground". Maybe even called "common" in some fields. This ground carries a current.

3) Equipment ground. This is the conductor connected to the source such that a path for short circuits and stray leaks is created. It isn't normally a "live" conductor.

Electricity flows from a point of high potential to low potential like a ball rolling down a hill. Electrons are not gained or lost by the circuit. The electrons in the entire circuit is constant. They move around the complete path from generator to load and back in a closed loop. It's like an escaltor to a water slide. You ride the escaltor up, gaining potential, and slide back down, releasing the stored energy and and up back at the bottom of the escalator to do it all again.

Every electron that leaves a battery or generator comes back to it.
Building on this, my understanding is that a home's A/C power is delivered via a charged line into the main breaker box. All of the electrical devices in the home are powered from this line. The breaker box is grounded using an earth ground, which is just a copper line running X feet deep into the ground (usually using the plumbing system).

What I'm struggling with here is that there is no return ground going back to the power plant, so I'm failing to see how the electrons are returning to the source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
Electrons are like you on the disco floor swaying your hips. When you bump into anther hip swayer, you transferred the energy but you didn't go anywhere.
Just popped into my head and had to write it down.


Tim.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
39,206 Posts
Building on this, my understanding is that a home's A/C power is delivered via a charged line into the main breaker box. All of the electrical devices in the home are powered from this line. The breaker box is grounded using an earth ground, which is just a copper line running X feet deep into the ground (usually using the plumbing system).

What I'm struggling with here is that there is no return ground going back to the power plant, so I'm failing to see how the electrons are returning to the source.
The electrons are flowing out from the transformer at the pole, into your house, then back out through either the neutral or the other hot leg to the transformer on the pole.

The grounding electrode system is not part of that. Some current might be flowing, but it doesn’t have to be for the system to work.
 

·
Watt Pusher
Joined
·
2,502 Posts
Building on this, my understanding is that a home's A/C power is delivered via a charged line into the main breaker box. All of the electrical devices in the home are powered from this line. The breaker box is grounded using an earth ground, which is just a copper line running X feet deep into the ground (usually using the plumbing system).



What I'm struggling with here is that there is no return ground going back to the power plant, so I'm failing to see how the electrons are returning to the source.
The power isn't delivered through one charged line. It is delivered through minimum two, and usually three lines (two hots and one neutral). The power comes in through one, and back out to the source through one of the others. Exactly which line the current is flowing on depends on the voltage of the circuit and how it is balanced with other circuits. Suffice it to say, though, that there always needs to be a complete circuit from source to load and back again.

Sent from my SM-G975W using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Thanks so much, guys. It's really nice to talk to a bunch of pros about this kind of thing, but I'll post my DIY questions in the DIY forum from now on. :)

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
To help your understanding, divorce the concept of ground, temporarily.
Electrical systems were used without a ground for a century or more.
They still work without a ground, grounding is used for greater safety in several ways.


Electrical energy always leaves and returns to it's source, ground is not necessary for that to happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
615 Posts
All these comments make me want to take out my old collage physics books.
Never mind, I'll just have another Miller.
 

·
Registered
Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
1,313 Posts
Electricity flows from a point of high potential to low potential like a ball rolling down a hill. Electrons are not gained or lost by the circuit. The electrons in the entire circuit is constant. They move around the complete path from generator to load and back in a closed loop. It's like an escaltor to a water slide. You ride the escaltor up, gaining potential, and slide back down, releasing the stored energy and and up back at the bottom of the escalator to do it all again.

Every electron that leaves a battery or generator comes back to it.
This is the best answer for you, Rick.

I also agree with Hack. What benefit to this site would be achieved by sending him away? Definitely not a DIY question. That's why he came to the pros.
 

·
Registered
Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
1,313 Posts
And this.

To help your understanding, divorce the concept of ground, temporarily.
Electrical systems were used without a ground for a century or more.
They still work without a ground, grounding is used for greater safety in several ways.


Electrical energy always leaves and returns to it's source, ground is not necessary for that to happen.
 
21 - 30 of 30 Posts
Top